9 February 2022

China Joins Hague Agreement on International Design Registrations

On 5th February 2022, China deposited its instrument of accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement on the International Registration of Industrial Designs. This means that the Hague Agreement will come into force in China on 5th May 2022.

The Hague Agreement is a simple and cost-effective system for obtaining registered design protection in multiple participating countries through a single application, and the whole system is administered by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). However, the Hague Agreement is a ‘closed’ system meaning that it is only available for use by applicants who are resident, domiciled or have a real and effective commercial establishment in a contracting state.

Please refer to our earlier article available here which gives more details on the Hague Agreement International Design Registration system.

China became the 68th contracting party to the Geneva Act and is the 77th overall member of the Hague Agreement. Since the US and Japan joined the Hague Agreement back in 2015, China’s accession has been long awaited to enable design protection to be secured in another of the top economic markets of the world via the system.

China’s membership will make the system much more commercially attractive to businesses within Europe and other existing member states, but will also enable Chinese applicants to take advantage of the procedural and economic benefits of the system to obtain international registered design protection.

We will keep you posted with further developments in this matter as soon as they occur. In the meantime, if you would like any further information on the Hague Agreement, or registered design protection in general, please contact Alex Brown at